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Looking to travel to Paris and London in late April

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Flowers, Jan 12, 2022 at 5:49 PM.

  1. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    I know now is not a good time to visit and that no one has a crystal ball in terms of Omicron but I'm hopeful things will be much improved by spring.

    I visited London for a couple of days just once, more than a decade ago, and Paris, for a week with my mom, but that was a bit more than 30 years ago, after I graduated from law school.

    Would love to visit both cities again in late April to wrap up my sabbatical. Curious about thoughts of other VMBers who may be looking to travel to these cities in particular or Europe more generally later this year or from VMBers who live there. I know things are pretty tight now given Omicron but if you have any guidance about how I should consider approaching planning for a trip, which would be solo, it would be appreciated.

    I'm fully vaccinated, including with a booster. Mask wearing, etc. doesn't bother me. I live in NYC and am used to it and will do what I need to enjoy life, e.g., attend concerts in Carnegie Hall, Broadway shows, etc.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts or suggestions.
     
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  2. Eleven99isFine

    Eleven99isFine VIP Whale

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    I was hopping around Europe last November and I think you'll be fine to visit, as long as you take the usual precautions.
    Couple of pointers:
    • Make sure that your airline and hotel reservations have a Covid rebooking or cancellation policy spelled out, in case plans change.
    • Know the entry restrictions for every country you will enter AND/OR transit. Even if you aren't entering the UK but connecting in London, you'll still need to be following their rules re: testing / vax / documentation. You will almost certainly have to complete a passenger form prior to entering each country, and bring a copy (either paper or digital) for entry.
    • London and Paris both have some kind of proof-of-vaccination requirement to enter most places. By now, most European businesses should be familiar with your US Covid vax card but you'll need to present it (the actual, not a picture) along with your passport to enter. I would suggest getting the France Health Pass (QR Code) but it's technically not required for Americans traveling abroad. It will make things smoother, as the locals will have QR codes. If you get the France QR Code, it should be recognized in the UK.
    • The US has a Covid testing requirement to come home. Be familiar with where you can get a covid test before travel. Lots of places are still closed on Sundays, for example.
    • Bring FFP2/surgical/N95 masks if you normally wear a cloth mask.
    Outside of all the Covid-related precautions / paperwork, it'll be a great trip! We were lucky enough to receive a decadent Fortnum & Mason gift basket for Xmas, so we're still dreaming about their biscuits. :)
    Let me know if you have any questions.
     
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  3. Michael Smith

    Michael Smith VIP Whale

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    I never knew the charm of spring
    I never met it face to face
    I never knew my heart could sing
    I never missed a warm embrace
    Till April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom
    Holiday tables under the trees
    April in Paris, this is a feeling
    That no one can ever reprise

    Visited France twice in April, but several years ago. One year I followed the Spring Classics bicycle racing and went as far as Roubaix on the Belgian border to watch the finish of a race. I think Lance Armstrong competed, that's how long ago it was. Watching bike racing in France is akin to watching an NFL game here.

    My impression is April is a perfect time to visit both London and Paris. London is ever changing. When I first visited in 1988 the other side of the Thames had very little to see—Southwark Cathedral where Shakespeare's brother is buried and a marker for the old Globe Theater. The British Museum hadn't built its addition and 84 Charing Cross Road was still a bookstore. LOL. Today, there is the London Eye, a rebuilt Globe and the Tate Modern museum on the other side. After Vegas, of course, London is my favorite city. I think you'll have a great time if you can navigate the COVID stuff
     
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  4. Guy

    Guy High-Roller

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    I was in central London last weekend, for the first time in 18 months and was surprised how quiet it was - very few tourists even for a wet January.

    There's no general checking of vaccine 'passports' in shops, bars, restaurants as I believe there is elsewhere on the continent.

    Mask wearing was well observed inside stations, shops etc. It might be a different story during the week with regular commuters.

    For France, anyone can download their 2 Covid apps, one displays your 'pass' and the other one is the scanner that venues use to scan you in. No idea how American vaccine codes work with them, but at least you can check yourself.

    Of course any of the Covid rules could change at any time (eg. earlier this month you could not travel from the UK into France unless you were a French resident) so make sure anything you book can be cancelled.

    Make sure you compare the Eurostar trains with the planes for the London -> Paris journey. Saves a lot of time travelling in/out of both cities to the main airports.
     
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  5. Tuggy79

    Tuggy79 Low-Roller

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    Most people in the UK are done with Covid so you won’t see much mask wearing, especially in London. The vax passport is a token gesture and most places aren’t enforcing it
     
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  6. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Great information. Thanks so much @Eleven99isFine for the info and tips!
     
  7. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Love the poem :love: and additional insights. Thank you and wishing you a great trip to Wynn/Las Vegas!
     
  8. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Thank you for the tips!!
     
  9. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Thanks for that information. I would love to visit Scotland one day as well but I need more than a week. If I make it it'll be a relatively quick trip, likely 7 to 8 days tops between London and Paris, 3 or 4 days of recovery at home and then the new job. :)
     
  10. smerrian

    smerrian View from Bally's

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    I’m not a ‘city’ person, but if I had to live in a city, Paris would be my choice. Many interesting museums but my favorite art is the local architecture you see just walking along the streets. I could walk around Paris and just keep on going. The Marais district is just charming. I used to go every year and just loved it. Make sure you stop at a Monoprix to pick up some picnic lunch stuff and get yourself to the Tuileries Gardens for a sit-down people-watching lunch on a bench.
     
    Hope it's not too cold!
    Farewell to CET
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  11. Eleven99isFine

    Eleven99isFine VIP Whale

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    The QR codes assigned by EU countries for their respective COVID passes are linked to the same EU database. If Switzerland gives you a qr code, it will be recognized by the German covid app and so on. To my knowledge, the US has no such national database of QR codes that are recognized by the EU. Unfortunately, there is no authoritative source of how any of these vaccine passports work so you're left researching on the latest rules at each country's website. Also,if you are relying on a news article for guidance, look at the publication date because information may already be outdated.

    Thankfully,you are only visiting 2 countries.
     
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  12. GamblingGolfer

    GamblingGolfer VIP Whale

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    Lots of good info above. We're planning on cruising from Southampton next Aug, with some time spent in southern England prior (then off to Amsterdam for a 2 week Norwegian fjords cruise). I'll be interested in your thoughts assuming you go.

    I don't think it's been mentioned, but I would suggest you take the Eurostar from Paris to London. We've done it in reverse and it's a great way to travel.

    We've also stayed in Paris and London (multiple times) if you have any questions about accommodations, locations, what to see, etc.

    Hope you get to go! Have fun!

    GG
     
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  13. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Thanks so much for the Eurostar recommendation and for your good wishes. Fingers crossed!
     
  14. Eleven99isFine

    Eleven99isFine VIP Whale

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    Beyond the formalities of covid, please enjoy the food! I'm quite partial to Maison Kayser bakeries. If you love cheese, shop at a fromagerie. I also indulge in something as simple as a cup of petit suisse from the grocery store.

    Bring a reusable fork and spoon (bamboo or some non metal material) for grocery store impulse snacks. Oh, and a reusable bag because it's helpful for grocery shopping.
     
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  15. Raven888

    Raven888 High-Roller

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    I went to Paris in March a few years ago and it was really cold and rainy almost every day we were there. It even snowed once. So, keep an eye on the weather if you're going in April; might still be some nasty weather.
     
    Vegas Vacation VIII - Chinese New Year 2022
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  16. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    :love::love::love::love::love:
     
  17. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Yes, I'm thinking it might be chilly but late April is pretty much the only time I can go. I'm hopeful though for a wonderful mid-Spring trip. :)
     
  18. maxev

    maxev VIP Whale

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    Paris would also be my city of choice if I could live anywhere.

    I had a great time taking one of those foodie tours in Le Marais. You walk around, get some history about the city (the French government forces bakeries to price baguettes low so everyone can afford them!) while popping into places to sample some food. All the while, the tour guide was purchasing things for a later meal she made us when we returned.

    For London, I just love their proper English Breakfast and just what they do with any breakfast.
    8E87471D-8A6F-4DF7-A393-DD4625CF31BA.jpeg 6E079AA7-DBE2-4175-91E6-47321E7F9EAC.jpeg
     
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  19. rourou

    rourou Low-Roller

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    In the Before Times, I used to go to the UK every couple of years, and London is my favorite city and I've spent a lot of time there. My last trip over was in 2018 but I spent the entire time up north and in Scotland, so it has been a while since I have been to London and obviously now things are very different. But I think some of my favorite places are still there - Tate Modern, as mentioned above, if you are a modern art fan; National Portrait Gallery; and any of the parks. I always find the Tower of London quite interesting, and you can dazzle yourself looking at the Crown Jewels. The Tube is a great way to get around if you are ok with public transit. Fastest way to get from Heathrow to Central London is the Heathrow Express train, bit of a splurge but no need to hassle with a taxi stuck in traffic or with luggage on the tube.

    Also remember that the UK is no longer part of the EU, so possibly very different requirements for testing, etc. for each country, and not just to/from the US, but also for going from England to France or vice versa. I am currently still not comfortable going overseas, but one of these days I will make it back. In the meantime, I will live vicariously thru your trip report. :D
     
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  20. justaguy

    justaguy Low-Roller

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    I was in Paris until Jan, 3rd. “Pass sanitaire” was being strictly enforced - you could not enter any restaurant, theater, museum, whatever if you didn’t show yours. I personally saw a guy being denied entry to a restaurant because his had expired.

    So, what is “pass sanitaire” - it is basically proof of vaccination or of recovery. When you arrive, just go to any drugstore, show you record of vaccination in the US (or a positive test more than 14 days before and a current negative test) and they will issue you one. You can then show the QR code you will receive wherever you want to go/enter.

    It is true most places have been accepting original proof of vaccination from foreign countries. It is not guaranteed, though, and things became stricter with Omicron. In my opinion, it is worth spending 5’ and € 36.00 and being certain will be allowed entering wherever you want.

    Not France-related, but I agree it is advisable to book flights and hotels that can be reimbursed in case of a lockdown or something similar. It appears this wave will have passed by April, but this virus keeps surprising us, so you never know.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2022 at 1:18 PM
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